When loved ones have been tragically killed in a fatal Virginia car crash, the family will often want to hold the responsible party accountable. Their best option is to bring a wrongful death lawsuit and seek monetary damages. In Virginia, there are strict requirements the family must meet in order to be awarded damages by a jury. While damages can never bring a deceased family member back, they can help the family to financially recuperate from their loss while they emotionally grieve.
Recently, in an accident in Virginia Beach, a pedestrian was struck on Northampton Boulevard by a car. According to a local news report, the pedestrian was walking across the road when the driver hit him. He died at the scene, and the driver of the vehicle was charged with possession of narcotics and various traffic offenses.
In accidents similar to the one above, the family of the deceased can bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible party. In doing so, they seek damages for the death of their loved one. Damages widely vary depending on the facts of the case. In Virginia, there is no cap on damages—meaning, a jury can award any amount of money to the plaintiff it sees fit. Their only guideline is to agree upon an amount they deem “fair and just.” The damages amount can include, but are not limited to, some of the following: sorrow and mental anguish, loss of income of the deceased, hospital expenses, and funeral expenses.
For damages awarded for sorrow and mental anguish, juries will often consider the loss of companionship, comfort, and guidance that arose from the death of the individual. The family bringing the lawsuit will try and emphasize the deceased’s role in the family, along with their overall presence. They will also introduce evidence about the deceased’s salary, as the jury can award damages to put the family in a similar financial situation as if the deceased was still alive and working.
A final type of damages that a jury can award in Virginia wrongful death lawsuits are called punitive damages. These damages are rarer, as they can only be given if the defendant acted “willful or wantonly” or with a recklessness that ignores a clear disregard for the safety of others. Especially in instances where a pedestrian is struck and killed, the family of the deceased will often request punitive damages—arguing the defendant acted so recklessly it directly caused the death of their loved one.
Because parsing through damages requirements and technicalities can be confusing, individuals bringing a wrongful death lawsuit should contact an experienced personal injury attorney.
Contact a Virginia Personal Injury Attorney
If a loved one has been killed in a Virginia pedestrian accident, contact The Schupak Law Firm for assistance. We understand that the time after a loved one’s passing is emotionally difficult and taxing. With experience in all types of personal injury claims, we are here to help you navigate the legal process while you focus on emotionally recuperating. To learn more and schedule a free consultation, give us a call at 240-833-3914 today.